Ebola Outbreak May Be Over in Nigeria and Senegal, Officials Say
The Ebola epidemic took a different course in Nigeria from the beginning, and it affected how the world responded to the outbreak.
The first case of Ebola in Nigeria was in Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American who landed at the international airport in Lagos, the country’s capital, on July 20. Sawyer potentially exposed 72 people, according to the CDC. He died July 25.
Health experts described the spread of Ebola to Lagos, a city of 21 million, as a potential catastrophe. It was also a wake-up call, because it was the first time that an Ebola patient had boarded an airplane and crossed from one country to another. The incident drew intense media coverage to the Ebola epidemic for the first time, even though health officials had been battling the outbreak in Guinea since March.
Nigeria’s ministry of health quickly declared Ebola to be a health emergency and began tracing not just Sawyer’s contacts but also everyone that those people might have exposed. In all, health officials traced 894 of these contacts. As of Sept. 26, Nigeria had reported 20 Ebola cases, including eight deaths. All surviving patients, now immune to this strain of Ebola, have left the hospital.